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TUGHRA

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word tughra is said to be a Persian and the orthography in Arabic characters became fixed as tughra. Popular Arabic has confounded tughra with turra (border of a piece of cloth or the upper border of a document). The word is also considered as of purely Turkish origin, derived from tughragh, meaning seal. In dialects, tughra is pronounced as tura, which means in Turkish, stick or sinew used for playing on a large drum. The tughra is a calligraphic emblem.

A tughra of the Oghuz, later Seljukids and the Ottoman ruler became the coat of arms. The official use of the tughra ceased in Turkey with the dethronement of the last Sultan on November 1, 1922.

The Ismailis have also a tradition of tughra. It is designed with a moon (hilal), whose left side is decked with five pearls (maknun), and the same position on the right side. The moon is bisected by a rope, containing pearls. The upper part is made of a garland, joined with pearls.

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